Psilocybin Mushrooms & The Path to Higher Consciousness


I wanna continue to explore
the healing powers of fungi. I’ve learned of another
mushroom that’s been used for thousands of years to bring
people enlightenment and unity. Psilocybin and other
psychedelics are now being used in new ways. I’ve connected with
psychologist Dr. John Vervaeke, who studies how psychedelics
can change our minds. How do psychedelics
affect the brain? What you can do with
psychedelics is you can expand the number of states
that the brain can get into, and then this can
introduce what’s called cognitive flexibility
into people’s cognition. Why are psychedelics
being studied today? There’s some preliminary but
growing evidence that this can help with certain issues:
people dealing with PTSD, people dealing with depression,
people dealing with vary kinds– various kinds of addictions. Psychedelics are thought to have
been used by humans worldwide for centuries. Some people have now started
taking low doses of psychedelics or other drugs, a
practice called microdosing. Why are people doing this? I think more and
more people want to, if you’ll allow me
to put a word on it, they wanna start
cultivating wisdom. Psilocybin could improve
your insight, right, improve the reduction
of your egocentrism, your ability to pick up on
other people’s perspectives, and also enhance your
capacity for self transcendence, which is what you need to
overcome self deception. And I would say
that’s the core of wisdom. Interesting. John’s research into microdosing
in the mind is fascinating, but I wanna meet with someone
who has started microdosing to learn firsthand
about their experience. My name is Tom Brennan. I’m interested in microdosing
as a exploratory way to increase consciousness. What has your
experience been like since you began microdosing? In the last, like, three years,
when I started microdosing, which is eating just a
very small quantity of psilocybin mushrooms,
you get an experience where your perception
is just slightly altered. And I found that it actually
makes me more attentive and able to focus on problems. How prevalent is microdosing? People in Silicon Valley,
other business leaders have already admitted now to
microdosing on a regular basis. So how is it done? These are the mushrooms,
which I’ll weigh on a digital gram scale
to 0.5 grams. Then I’ll take them, put
them in the spice grinder. (Whirring) And now they’re all ground up. In the glass. Yummy. Little orange juice, make it
a little more palatable. Little stir. Down the hatch. Mmm. Onset is about 40 minutes. From start to finish,
it’s about six hours. With a microdose like this at
this level, it’s pretty minor. I’ll be there in
20… 20, 30 minutes. See you later. (Laughing) What are the
psychological benefits? Uh, it has a calming effect, and it also has a pathogen
effect similar to MDMA, where it makes you feel
better about other people. It’s definitely
reduced anxiety in me. Do you consider yourself high? In a higher state of
consciousness, but not high. So it’s mind-expanding
as opposed to escapism? It’s a helpful and
beneficial compound that is good for everybody. What change could someone who’s
decided to start microdosing expect to see in themselves? Uh, intention is critical. So what you expect or want out
of the compound seems to happen, even though that does sound a
little on the unscientific side. I’ve found it, in my experience, that what I expect or want from
it, it seems to give to me. Tom’s anecdotal
evidence is interesting. I’d like to conduct a psilocybin
microdosing experiment, but without access to legal
forms of the drug to test, I’ll remain an
interested observer for now.

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